Pelvic health requires a balance in the pelvis, the house that the pelvic floor is the ‘floor’ of and hypermobility is more about instability vs flexibility. Hypermobility and pelvic health, therefore, are intimately related and important subjects to explore in this blog. In this blog post, we’ll explore the relationship between hypermobility and pelvic wellness and provide tips for managing both conditions.
Hypermobility vs Instability
Hypermobility is a condition that affects the connective tissues in the body, causing them to be more flexible than normal. This can result in joints that move beyond their normal range of motion, leading to pain, inflammation, and instability. Hypermobility can be genetic or acquired, and is more common in women than men.
Hypermobility when at a younger age in elementary through even early 20s seems to be the advantage when doing gymnastics, cheer, acrobatics, and dance. This is always exciting and encouraging to participate in the activities that make you ‘shine’; however, the overuse of already unstable body parts over time will catch up later on mostly in the 30s and beyond.
One of the areas that can be most affected by hypermobility is the pelvic region. The pelvic floor is made up of muscles, ligaments, and tissues that support the bladder, uterus, and other organs. Of course, there is more to the dysfunction in the pelvis than just the internal organs. You can read all about what pelvic floor dysfunction can look like in my blog.
The Subtle Symptoms of Pelvic Floor Dysfunction?
Pelvic floor dysfunction can cause a range of symptoms, including incontinence, pain during sex, and chronic pelvic pain. Individuals with hypermobility may be more susceptible to developing pelvic floor dysfunction because the connective tissues in their body are less able to provide the necessary support. Here are the subtle signs of pelvic floor dysfunction that are most often missed and considered their own separate issues! You can learn more about this in my blog: ‘ Pelvic Floor Dysfunction Symptoms’.
- “Lower back pain
- Pain in the back joints of the pelvis (SI Joints)
- Pain in the front pubic area
- Arched lower back
- Slouched lower back
- Slouched mid-back or hunchback
- Military posture with the chest pushed out
- A V-stance where the torso is positioned behind the hip joints on the side view
- Chronic forward neck
- Inability to bend down below the knees
- Habitually standing on one leg with the other leg bent
- Chronic one-sided pain in the lower extremity
- Hip pain on one or both sides”
Tips To Manage Hypermobility & Pelvic Wellness
- Exercise regularly but your exercises need to be low-impact and specific. I find Dynamic Neuromuscular Stabilization (DNS), baby exercises, to be the most effective type of exercise. So much so that it has become the source of attraction among hypermobile and EDS individuals in my region.
- Practice good posture: Good posture helps reduce the strain on your joints and pelvic floor muscles which is easier said than done. I use Postural Neurology to work on the brain because if the brain gives the command to move and hold your posture a certain way, your body will follow. This is why gadgets and tools claiming to help you with your posture do NOT work! UNLESS they work on changing the map of movement (Homunculus) and posture in your brain the effects won’t last.
- Use proper lifting techniques: When lifting heavy objects, make sure to use proper technique to avoid putting unnecessary strain on your joints and pelvic floor. I strongly suggest you follow me on IG and subscribe to my YouTube channel for the specifics of movement.
- Maintain a healthy weight: Being overweight can put additional strain on the joints and pelvic floor muscles. This increases the risk of both hypermobility and pelvic floor dysfunction. Maintaining a healthy weight through a balanced diet and regular exercise can help reduce this risk.
- Consider pelvic floor therapy: Not all physical therapists and chiropractors are trained in pelvic floor dysfunction and not every pelvic floor therapy treatment involves internal manual treatment. In my practice, I first start stabilizing the pelvis, the house that the pelvic floor is the floor of, BEFORE anything else. No sense in working on anything else when the whole house is shaky and unstable.
- Be mindful of your activities: if playing sports, take it easy during ovulation and/or menstruation when the level of relaxed soft tissue goes even higher.
Wear DuoJoint, a brace I have designed for hypermobile ankles to be worn at night to address the over-extension of the ankles and feet at night. This is important because your feet are the points of contact with the ground and without stable feet and ankles, everything above is unstable. DuoJoint at the time of writing this blog is not available but search for it online to see where you can purchase it now.
- Manage stress: Stress can contribute to both hypermobility and pelvic floor dysfunction. Finding ways to manage stress, such as meditation, yoga, or therapy, can help improve overall well-being and reduce the risk of these conditions.